Last updated on October 5th, 2023 at 08:43 pm
You can only work with free images for so long. Here's a handful of great paid image resources to level up your web design game.
The Problem of Using Free Images for Your Website
It can be difficult to find images for your website. And you can only run a website & blog so long before you start to run out of free images you can use.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself reusing many images and you’ll also see that lots of other sites are using the same images, which makes your site look less unique. If you’re a design agency, you definitely don’t want to be reusing images from one client to another.
The Solution? Paid Images.
Moving to a paid image provider will provide you with a greater volume of content and usually more broad usage rights. Where photographers are generally donating their images to free sites for exposure, submitting them to paid sides can actually provide them an opportunity to earn money for their work. This means a greater selection for you, the paying customer.
Most of the image providers listed below not only have massive selections that make the free ones look tiny, but they also have a high rate of new images added every single day – usually in the thousands or tens of thousands.
There are a variety of paid sites where you can get great professional images for your blog. Once you’re ready to move to the next level, here’s where you’ll want to start.
Prices quoted in the following section are accurate as of December 11, 2022. They’ll be updated every so often, but you’ll want to check with each vendor for their current pricing.
Deposit Photos is an excellent source of images with over 150 million files between photos, graphics, and videos. They have a variety of packages to choose from starting at just $36/month for 25 images. You can also buy on-demand packages though these are pretty expensive starting at $49 for just 10 images.
When people think of paid images, Shutterstock is really the first place that comes to mind. Their selection is massive with over 325 million images and over 150,000 new images added every single day. Their subscription plans start at $29/month for 10 images and on-demand packages start at $29 for 2 images.
Adobe Stock is another big player in the paid asset market. The service includes photos, graphics, videos, and other digital assets. Their subscription plan starts at $29.99/month for 3 items. They have on-demand pricing as well, but the pricing is a bit more complicated than their main competitor, Shutterstock. Instead of buying a certain number of assets, you buy credits which you then trade for assets – some assets cost more than a single credit. Their credit packs start at $49.95 for 5 credits, which is enough for 5 standard images.
Adobe Stock also has various licenses depending on your use-case, so it may take some research before you figure out exactly which one you need. View the Adobe Stock License.
Envato Elements (Our #1Pick)
Not to be confused with the Envato Marketplace, which is an entirely different service, Envato Elements is an excellent way to enter the paid image market. It’s what I use in my blogs and web design projects.
While on the surface, they don’t have the massive selection of photos that other guys have, they have something nobody else has: a subscription with unlimited downloads. For just $16.50/month you get access not just to over 1 million professional photos, but you also get licenses for videos, music, WordPress themes, plugins, Elementor Templates, fonts, and a bunch of other digital assets. If you’re a web design company, Envato Elements is one subscription you absolutely must have. View the Envato Elements License.
And if all you’re looking for is images, don’t worry because Envato’s subscription also grants you unlimited access to Twenty20 Stock which has over 50 million additional photos you can use as part of your membership. Twenty20’s photos aren’t all cleared for commercial use so you’ll have to check each image you want before you use it to make sure the license covers your use-case, but it’s a massive resource nonetheless. View the Twenty20 Stock license details.
Acquiring images for your blog is serious business, but using the right tools can help keep your site looking professional and protect you from liabilities due to using someone else’s images. There are lots of options to pick from which will give you the variety you need for any blog or project.